20th Century Fashion.
'It's Mods, Art Deco, Chanel No5
and Sweet Nostalgia...'

1920s Fashion 1930s Fashion 1940s Fashion 1950s Fashion 1960s Fashion 1970s Fashion 1980s Fashion

The cities of fashion

As you can imagine 20th century fashion began in one particular city &mdash Paris &mdash and it was toward this city and to French designers like Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel that woman (and men &mdash let’s face it &mdash not less then women) all around the fashion world looked to guide their taste in clothes.

Retro Girl

But during the Second World War, when Paris was isolated by German occupation, Britain and America developed their own styles. Post-war prosperity created a youth culture that started what is now called street-level of underground fashion. 1920s Girl wearing stockings with her boyfriends portraits By the end of the century, the fashion cycle was operating on fast forward. As one silhouette evolved, another reacted to it the following season. Women and men now had an access to global fashion. They could choose styles from any country in the world.

The Great Cycle of Fashion Changes began

As attitude towards women in Europe and America changed during the century, so did 20th century fashion; and that cycle of change was endless. Certain looks and silhouettes recur throughout the period. The brightest examples of the vintage clothing include the square-cut, boyish look; the fluid, draped fabrics influenced by Ancient Greece; wide fluffy skirts knee length with millions of linen layers; high platform shoes; wide fake shoulders together with crazy colored legins.


'Nothing is so disliked, nothing so despised as yesterday’s fashion...

We invariably find our parent’s taste in clothes ... intolerable. But, equally certainly, a succeeding generation will discover in them nostalgic beauty and forgotten charm. Ones they belong to the day before yesterday, heir revival is certain.’ &mdash Picture Post remarked perceptively in 1947.

Givenchy Blue Vintage Dress

‘Fashion comes round in an Oedipal cycle...’

‘...a young designer is forever trying bring back to life the first female image that made an impression on him. The twenty-year-old designers of today are always nostalgic for the glamour of their childhood.’ &mdash Christian Lacroix offered his own analysis.

Vintage Haute couture Vs. Vintage Prêt-à-Porter

Several threads run through twenties century fashion. Haute couture clothing is exclusive, made-to measure clothing filled to the individual’s exact proportions. Prêt-à-Porter, in contrast, is ready-to-wear. The designer’s creation are mass-produced in a range of standardised sizes. Feeding of the trends set by expensive, designer fashion are a host of business: dressmakings and mail order catalogs, department stores and high street multiple retailers who now sell cheaper, ready-to-wear fashion.


Fashion technology development

Manufacturing technology has influenced fashion throughout the century. From the development of synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon to the advert of heat bounding and laser cutting, fashion designers have enthusiastically many different ways of creating beautiful clothes each decade.

Despite fashion being big business, trends still filter up from street level. International designers send their scouts off to source ideas from clubs, markets and bars. But for the height of sartorial cool at any time of the year, one need look no further than the streets of Europe big cites.

Therefore in any vintage shop you will see not only the beautiful clothes of different decades but also the mood of the century, the exciting dialect of trends, the 20th century fashion soul still present there. Dior Vintage Top

’What vintage decade does appeal to you best?'

The whole 20th century fashion varies from decade to decade. The most noticeable years are 1920s fashion with their Art Deco, 1950s and New Look, 1960s and 1970s Disco. Number of fashion movements also took place during the previous century.

If you're asking which fashion period is the best for inspiration. I think it depends on your own style. There were so many interesting inventions during all those years, that sometimes it's hard not to mix everything together: wide shoulders jacket from 1980s and cute polka dot dress from 1940s; 60s mini tunic and 20s multy-layered fake pearl beading…? Yes?.. No..? Maybe!

Why not try now, in 2010, after the 20th century fashion is only a stylish memory? Why not experiment, mix, find your perfect combination of vintage and modern and express yourself as much as you can!!!

Did You, Your Parents, or Grandparents Have Remarkable Glamorous Times During the Last Century?

There probably were some happiest and most unusual and glamorous days in your fashionable granny's life! Share your family’s fashion story or your own fascinating fashion history with us. Upload your old pictures to share the unique fashion moments from the last century with the world. Contribute to vantage heritage and be a part of the history!

Enter your story title (ex., “Hippie 70s of My Mum”)

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20th Century Fashion

1920s Fashion

1930s Fashion


1940s Fashion

1950s Fashio

1960s Fashion

70s Clothing Ideas

70s Clothes on-line

1980s Fashion

20th Century Fashion Movements